September 25, 2001

In an article published Sunday in the Howard County edition of The Sun, county Councilman Christopher J. Merdon, an Ellicott City Republican, and developer Jim Schulte were quoted about crowding in middle schools. But the specific problem on which they were commenting - involving Elkridge Landing and Ellicott Mills Middle schools - was edited out.

In new charts detailing enrollment predictions, Elkridge Landing Middle School was shown at 120 percent of capacity in 2004 - a level of crowding that would force part of the northeast to remain closed to development. But nearby, at the newly rebuilt Ellicott Mills Middle School, enrollment is predicted to be only 87 percent of capacity in 2004. Because the northeast school region was closed for several years because of crowded elementary schools, this latest prediction only lengthens the delays for builders - thus Merdon's comment that "something needs to be done," and Schulte's statement that "It is very frustrating."

Howard's Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance delays new homes for up to four years if an elementary or middle school is predicted to be more than 115 percent of capacity in three years. A new elementary school is scheduled to open in the region in August 2003.

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